Monday, June 30, 2008

Nothing like Family

One thing I find to be quite different here in Columbus is that it seems almost everyone I've met has family around. Even if they're not right next door, they're close by. This makes me just a tad jealous.

In Chicago, we were the more of the norm, with family being far away. So we became family for each other. We celebrated holidays and birthdays and summertime with our friends-slash-surrogate family. I'm sure that happens here among friends too--I am sure it is already happening for us. In fact we have a number of friends coming over to help us celebrate the 4th of July--for which we went out and bought a grill last night (!!) and a bunch of stuff to eat. (Then we--I mean Insoo--proceeded to put the grill together and figure it out, making it REALLY feel like a summer night last night. SO Awesome.)

Anyway...back to what I was saying...having kids brings a whole new importance to family--not just the help they are when you have a new baby, or people to swap babysitting with so you can have a night out with your spouse...but those closest to you standing by you to help you figure out this crazy thing called parenting (and the monster of the terrible twos). As Elliot gets older and as I embark on this multiple children thing, I wonder HOW mom did it with 5. FIVE! And the number one thing that comes to mind is her sister right there doing it alongside her, and her mom close by--at least for a time. That, plus she was just an amazing woman.

I find myself missing her in fresh ways again with the birth of Isaiah...I've had a couple moments of break down--alone in the car to get groceries or nap time and cleaning the house--where mom's absence pierces my heart and I just have to mourn her death again. I realized again that I'd never hear her say my kids' names, or rock Isaiah to sleep or hear Elliot's songs. Trusting that God will walk with us through ALL of life, and provide people we need to walk with us brings me comfort and helps me dry my tears and keep on going.

But without her, it gives more weight to the rest of the family and makes their presence all the more important. So our time with Dad and Judy and Maria and Mel has been so much more than them coming to help out and meet Isaiah...for me it is these people who know and love me most coming alongside me to strengthen me and encourage me in this journey. They help me believe I can do it, even though I have to figure out how to do it on my own when they go.

So Thanks, girls, for spending a week with us.

Here are some of the highlights:

All the Mols came for a mini-reunion. It was such a fun time to see aunts and uncles and cousins again.

And of course we went to our favorite spots--the park:

The Zoo:

And our new favorite--the POOL!!!

And as always, it's wonderful to just hang out together, loving one another!

We had such a great time together. It FLEW by. Now it's time to have Uncle Jo Jo come, and Auntie (Andrea) again too...but we'll await the arrival of the new "baby cousin" and go see you all first.

In the meantime, we're still family. You all still encourage me and lift me up from miles away.
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Friends--you're part of our family too. Thank you.

*For more photos, check out our picasa albums.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More Papa? More Judy?

For over a week now, Elliot has been asking for "More Papa" and "More Judy". He just doesn't seem to understand that Iowa is too far away for them to quick stop by. He really enjoyed having them here to spoil him and love on him and Isaiah.

We loved having Dad and Judy here for a long weekend. We got to show them the sights of Columbus: The zoo, the mall, the parks, the church! And Insoo and I got to have our first "coffee date" since becoming parents of 2. (I also got to go to the grocery store by myself! woo hoo!)

Elliot got to have lots of "Thomas Time" with Papa:

Dad got lots of kisses at the park:

Isaiah got lots and lots of cuddles:

We squeezed 6 people in a 5 person car and got to be all cozy:

And at the zoo: How many people does it take to put sunscreen on a toddler?

Thanks, guys, for making the trip out here. We had a great time with you!

And here are a few extra 'freebie photos' :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How he LOVES to entertain!

This video is a few minutes long. Elliot is like the energizer bunny.
He really worked himself into quite a sweat!!!